Why Satan Is So Skillful at Tempting Us to Sin

Satan is a formidable foe. He opposes all those who are created in the image of God and is bent on their complete and utter destruction. What makes Satan so skillful at tempting us to sin? In his little book Fighting Satan, Joel Beeke offers 6 reasons. Satan’s Spiritual Being and Intellectual Power When people tempt each other, they do so with overt actions. For example, Joseph tempted his brothers’ devotion to their youngest brother, Benjamin, by asking his steward …

Explaining the Problem Does Not Eliminate the Problem

To be human is to feel guilt. At least, to be a sinful human is to feel guilt. And most often we feel guilt precisely because we are actually guilty–guilty of offenses against man and God. R.C. Sproul addresses guilt, and the right and wrong ways to approach it, in this little quote from Pleasing God. A sad commentary on contemporary life is the frequency with which counselors seek to relieve people’s guilt problems by focusing on the removal of …

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The True Saint Abhors All Sin

Sometimes I just need to be reminded about the seriousness of sin. And sometimes I just need to be reminded off the slipperiness of sin. Those reminders came this week through Charles Spurgeon and a sermon he preached on June 29, 1890. Many men are violent against one sin; but the true saint abhors all sin. You are a teetotaler; I am very glad to hear it: you will not allow the sin of drunkenness to have dominion over you. But …

3 Errors of Musical Style that Stifle Community

It is ironic that music, an element meant to draw Christians together in mutual love and service (see Colossians 3:16) has become a force for significant division within the church. It just goes to show, I guess, that we can make a mess of pretty much anything. In their book The Compelling Community, Mark Dever and Jamie Dunlop point out 3 common errors of musical style can stifle local church community: Music that’s difficult to sing corporately. If your music …

How To Prepare Yourself for the Lord’s Supper

I am sure you have considered God’s command in 1 Corinthians 11:28: “Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.” It sounds simple enough, but what is actually involved in this kind of self-examination? How should we prepare ourselves before celebrating the Lord’s supper? Thomas Haweis offers help in his classic work The Communicant’s Spiritual Companion, recently republished by Reformation Heritage Books. He offers these 4 directions: Examine your repentance. Consider …

What Others Endure Living With You

There isn’t anything easy about parenting. There isn’t anything easy about parenting girls. For that reason I enjoyed reading through Andy Farmer’s little booklet A Father’s Guide to Raising Girls. I found this section particularly helpful. We will make our share of mistakes as dads do. But another factor we have to account for is our human weakness—our limits, our foibles, our character deficiencies that affect every aspect of our lives. Let me give you an example. My girls used to …

What We Need Is More Knowledge

Few people have had a deeper impact on my way of thinking than John Stott. In his little book Your Mind Matters, he writes about the importance of being Christians who use our minds. But knowledge is not an end in and of itself. Rather, all that knowledge is meant to lead somewhere. Knowledge should lead to worship. The true knowledge of God will result not in our being puffed up with conceit at how knowledgeable we are, but in …

What’s at Stake? The Gospel Is at Stake.

There is always one truth or another that is being disputed. There is always some doctrine or another that is under attack. And speaking personally, I find it hard to keep up. Sometimes it is best to recruit some help, and I did that very thing recently. I keep hearing about differing views on the historical Adam, with more and more people moving away from a strictly literal understanding that Adam was divinely created by God on the sixth day …

How Should Christians Fast?

Fasting is a subject for which I have a lot of curiosity but little practice. It is the subject of an excellent and helpful little booklet by Daniel Hyde, part of the “Cultivating Biblical Godliness” series. He defines Christian fasting as “a religious abstaining from food or any other legitimate provision of God for a set period of time.” He addresses the practice of fasting with these 6 guidelines. We fast freely. “Under the new covenant you are free to …

10 Great Quotes from ‘Chosen by God’

R.C. Sproul’s book Chosen by God is undoubtedly one of the most important books ever written on the subject of God’s sovereignty in salvation. Certainly it is the only one that has sold 200,000 copies! It has been invaluable in helping me, and so many others, navigate a very tricky topic. Here are 10 great quotes drawn from its pages. What predestination means, in its most elementary form, is that our final destination, heaven or hell, is decided by God not …